We've actually lived in our new house for nearly two weeks now and right from the moment we managed to sit down after a hurried move, we felt perfectly at home. We're still in the process of unpacking and finding out what goes where, and expect it will take a few weeks yet to sort it all out.
We've come a long way since we met you at Kumeu when you opened up the show home, (closed that day) gave us a tour and convinced us that Maddren could help us achieve our goal of building a small house in our garden. I'm sure we told you that you were the last call on the last day of trying to find a solution to the problem. We were about to pull the plug on the whole idea but fate took a hand. We knew we were on the right track when Stuart turned up at 82b a couple of days later and started the process, eventually going so far as to introduce us to the ASB when our own bank turned us down for a loan.
We also knew ours wasn't the easiest of sites and admit that we had a few misgivings when we saw the size of the hole for the drainage/sewer line and even more so when a huge chunk of the road was dug up to get to the manhole. Surprisingly, the neighbours didn't lynch us, especially when the water main was pierced, then right on Christmas the work was finished and everyone admired our super new retaining wall.
The heavy machinery started work on 17th November I think, and from then on the sun shone for weeks — no rain to speak of until we had a roof. We had the privilege of sitting in our lounge, watching our house being built from the slab up, which was fascinating and instructive, with bronzed, bare-chested builders all over the place obviously enjoying their work, serenading us with ... to be kind, gusto.
The best part was when the scaffolding was taken down and we could see the house properly; it looked very stylish and sat well on the section. We assumed completion was in sight. Not so! The construction gods are obviously as mean as the golf gods — don't get ahead of yourself or they'll smack you down in an instant. What went wrong? Never mind, it doesn't matter now.
Thinking back over the whole process, we were impressed with the preferred suppliers, who were all courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. The end results are very satisfying although we found it really difficult to imagine the finished job at the time of making decisions.
Your staff, too, were always so cheerful and friendly, even though we must have driven them nuts at times: Gary was patience itself when we hadn't a clue what he was talking about, and told me he liked feijoas when I threatened to pelt him with them; Jacqui always on the ball, Jo on the phone chasing people for us, Janine never missing a beat with the invoices; Jake, in control and always keeping us informed, not to mention yourself when we got tied up in facts, figures and schedules.
We haven't actually paid for the house yet — still waiting for the land titles to come through. The family who bought our old house were the first to see it 2 hours after it went on the market, and though we were a bit nervous about the long settlement time, fate worked in our favour again. It wasn't plain sailing for them either, but we're all in now, and happy, and three very small boys have certainly woken up the neighbourhood.
I'm sorry this is such a long letter, but after nearly 18 months of association with the Maddren family, a line or two doesn't fit the bill and, besides, your websites aren't responding. Thanks to you all for getting us across the line with your expertise and good humour; we really do appreciate all you did for us and after 43 years in 82b it's amazing how much we don't miss it and how much we are enjoying our new place. Many thanks for the gift basket — who knew that Alan was crying out for a new pepper mill? It goes beautifully with the kitchen. He will appreciate the tea-towels too!!
Daphne and Alan, Birkenhead